Transition Off to Quick Start

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The media has focused on the rapid start of the Obama transition effort. I was called by a reporter yesterday and asked my impression of what’s happened, just 48 hours after the election, compared to past transitions. I observed that, compared to past transitions, this one seems to have gotten underway much quicker. But that was just my observation from my reading the history.  However, this was confirmed for me last night at an event sponsored by the Council for Excellence in Government on the transition where Harrison Wellford spoke. Wellford has been an advisor to every Democratic presidential transition team since Jimmy Carter took office. He said this was the best Democratic transition start he’s ever been associated with. He said he’s “very excited about how this is going,” and foresees quick action on making key appointments as well as defining 3-4 key policy areas where the new Obama Administration can take quick action. He also foresees an emphasis on transparency and teamwork during the transition.

Separately, the new Obama Transition Website was turned on – aptly named www.change.gov.  The site has a number of high tech capabilities:  a newsroom, a blog to document the transition, a message board to allow citizens to post comments and their aspirations for the next Administration, and background material. But most important for some – a link where you can send your resume if you want to work for the next Administration! According to WTOP News, their offices are located at 451 Sixth Street, NW (just look for the newly erected security barriers) just a block from Verizon Center.

In addition, the 2008-2009 Transition Resources Website was turned on yesterday. It is part of the effort being undertaken by the General Services Administration and the National Archives. This site is targeted to the incoming transition team and new appointees and provides an overview of resources and laws. It includes organization charts of the government as well as links to a range of useful resources.

Also, the Council for Excellence in Goverment launched its Presidential Transition website, as well.  It’s got a lot of useful resources and up-to-date news.

Finally, the much-anticipated 2008 Plum Book, that lists all political appointment positions, is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, November 12th.

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